Why was Mussolini appointed Prime Minister in 1922?

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Why was Mussolini appointed Prime Minister in 1922?

There were many significant reasons as to why Mussolini was appointed leader in 1922: Italy had an indecisive King, Italian Prime Minister Facta hesitated to act against the Fascists, Fascist violence, Italy’s national fear of Socialists, the aftermath of World War I and Mussolini’s potential as a leader all led to Mussolini’s appointment as Prime Minister in 1922.

Mussolini had been under great pressure for the Ras to seize power and by 1922, many Fascists considered that the time had come to seize power. Mussolini however disagreed with them and was still trying to be appointed legally. By the autumn of 1922, he was in contact with most major politicians of the formation of a new government that would include the Fascists.

        Italy’s ruler was King Victor Emmanuel II. He was a weak man and quite incapable of providing any firm leadership for the country, as he was convinced of his own powerlessness. He did not stick to his own convictions and was swayed very easily by contemporaries. Evidence of King Victor Emmanuel’s indecisive was displayed when Italian Prime Minister Facta requested martial law to quash Fascist thugs. He then changed his mind eight hours later. He did the same when it came to Mussolini, opposing him at first and then trying to compromise.

Most of the King’s family sympathised with the Fascist movement including his cousin, the Duke of Aosta and his mother. However, like many of the elite, the King overestimated the strength of the Fascists and was fearful of being replaced by his cousin who would be more relenting with the Fascists.

The army also gave the King conflicting reports from his generals over the attitude of the army to a Fascist march. The King was concerned that the army and the country may split apart to provoke a civil was, as many of his generals were deeply involved with the Fascists. The King however is mainly at fault over the appointment of Mussolini as it was he who sent the telegram offering Mussolini the position of Prime Minister.

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The preceding Prime Minister, Facta led a weak Liberal government in February-October 1922. Facta was also responsible for Mussolini’s appointment to some extent. The Liberal government’s attitude to Fascism was that if it were left, it would help to work out the problems Socialism was causing and prevent a further spread of Socialism. It did very little to impede Fascism’s development. Liberal governments had failed to confront Italy’s internal problems since Unification and by the time Facta was Prime Minister, not much had changed.

Facta, like many of his predecessors, had failed to take a stand against Fascism and ...

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